Exclusive: Eddie’s Tricky World Cup Plays As Australian Barbarians Match

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Eddie Jones’ wily World Cup plans go ahead The new Wallabies coach has been instrumental in arranging a series of barbarian games that will prove difficult for the Aussies during the World Cup.

There is no third-tier competition in the 17,000 kilometers that separate Sydney from Paris. The Roar Jones helped plan six barbarian matches to coincide with the World Cup.

Should anything happen to this 33-man World Cup squad in France, Jones will have match-ready players across the Channel who they can call upon when injured.

Wallabies head coach Eddie Jones has helped arrange several barbarian matches for the Aussies to play. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

It’s a masterful play that could change how Jones configures his lineup.

Waratahs defense coach Jason Gilmour, who will lead Australia A against Tonga on July 15, will take charge of the Barbarians.

He will be joined by outgoing Brumbies assistant Laurie Fisher, while Wallabies skills coach Berrick Barnes and junior Wallabies coach Nathan Gray, who assisted Michael Cheika at the last two World Cups, will split duties and spend three weeks each.

The Barbarians will play five matches against English opposition, including Bristol, Gloucester and Harlequins, while a sixth is under consideration against Welsh rivals.

It is not yet known who will be in the squad, but it is expected to be typical of the Aussies with a strong focus on the next level of players Jones will feature at the World Cup.

It’s also unclear who will pick the team, but Jones, who coached the Barbarians against the World XV last month, is likely to influence the selection.

As one source put it, “details are sketchy.”

Assistant coach Laurie Fisher during an Australian Wallabies training session at Sanctuary Cove on August 23, 2022 in Gold Coast, Australia.  (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Former Wallabies assistant Laurie Fisher will feature in Australia’s heavy-hitting Barbarians coaching squad at the World Cup. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

With Australia’s domestic competition ending in July and the 2024 campaign still months away, the fixtures have been strictly designed to give Jones the best chance of keeping his fringe players fit and ready for the call-up.

After sensationally being parachuted into the role in mid-January, Jones has some important decisions to make.

While Jones is not due to officially name his World Cup squad until August 28, the experienced coach believes the Wallabies will be able to name his squad sooner rather than later, after the Wallabies play France in Paris in their final pre-tournament match on September 8. like before the Bledisloe Cup at the end of July.

Jones wants to keep the core of his players playing together without any distractions and focus on their mission of “crash and grab.”

But whether he will take three forwards, three midfielders and three playmakers remains to be seen. So he was looking for a playmaker who could also cover the full-back, or a midfielder who could play half-back in case of injury.

It remains to be seen whether Eddie Jones will take three midfielders and three playmakers. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

In 2015, Michael Cheika had the luxury of taking just two forwards and two midfielders to the World Cup, as did Matt Guiteau, who could cover multiple positions in his squad. He later added a third fuker to the 2015 World Cup campaign following injuries throughout the squad.

Four years later, Cheika named three forwards but still named two midfielders – experienced Wallabies Will Jenia and Nick White.

And Jones named two midfielders in his squad four years ago, with Ben Youngs playing most of the minutes.

World Rugby has increased its squad to 33 for the 2023 tournament due to increased understanding of concussion and return-to-play protocols.

It’s still unclear how Jones will use the extra two picks, but there are several options, but the openness of the team, with few specific picks, makes the choice difficult.

The fact that Jones has just five official Tests to prepare for the tournament means the 63-year-old will have little time to practice.

Wallabies coach Eddie Jones during training camp at Sanctuary Cove on April 18, 2023. Photo: Chris Hyde/Getty Images

Jones could be given two additional overseas selections for the World Cup, known as “Eddie features”, meaning the Wallabies could field five overseas players.

Interestingly, Jones included six overseas Wallabies for the April training camp, which included two locks (Frenchman Will Skelton and Richie Arnold) and two playmakers (Japan’s Quade Cooper and Bernard Foley).

If Jones is allowed to include five foreign players for the World Cup, it could mean the Wallabies coach wants to play close to one of the aforementioned key players for the Barbarians in case of a serious injury throughout the tournament.

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